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Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!
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Author:  Julian [ 13 Dec 2009 03:28 ]
Post subject:  Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

OK let me try to tell my story.

For many years I have visited Eastern European countries and always been intrigued and fascinated by their mysterious ways, their history and the way that they seemed to have stood still with time, the simple life that seemed so uncomplicated and the people with so little but so content and happy and not spoilt and greedy like many from the West, people who seemed to value the really important things in life.

I was always going there for sport events so I have been lucky to visit some places before they became westernised. Twenty years ago who would dream of going on holiday to Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Czecho etc but I was lucky to visit these places because of my work but the big one that eluded me was Russia. I never had reason to go through work and never made the effort really! I guess, I wasn't brave enough to go there by myself. I was your typical person who had seen to many James Bond films and believed some of the hype!

So how did I finally get there?

Well, I have always thought that the most beautiful girls in the world come from Eastern Europe and also some of the nicest down to earth people. I had a brief romance with a Slovakian girl who I had met through work and this got me thinking about visiting Russia, not just to find a girl but to actually to experience the country itself. I had been to every other country in the West several times over and it was time to discover the East and satisfy my curiosity.

I had met one or two Russian girls in the past and been very enchanted by their beauty and grace and like so many others, I was disillusioned with and not really interested in girls back home, but also I love Europe and I think my life would be far more interesting with a foreign GF than another English one. I guess I have Gypsy blood; I have been involved in motor sport for over 20 years and competitions taking me everywhere, spending half my life on planes, living in hotels and motor homes. It’s just so great to meet people from different countries and cultures. I just could not be satisfied working 9-5 in a factory with an English wife and 2.5 kids.

I had a good business in the UK and to be honest it was taking more of my time than I wanted and stopping me from travelling as much as I wanted to. When I hit the big 40, I decided I would sell my business and go and live in Europe, either Italy or Austria where I have many friends. But also I decided I was going to visit Moscow and Russia so I started communicating with a few girls on dating sites.

I was very green; I never had even used a UK dating site so I really wasn't prepared for all the scammers on a Russian site etc. But I'm a quick learner and no fool. When I see these sites with only models I know they’re too good to be true. I'm well travelled and street wise; even in Russia they can't have that many pretty girls!!!

I guess, I was also lucky fairly quickly as I only looked at 2 sites, the first one was full of the “Too good to be true Beauties” and I was taken in by a few for a couple of weeks, but I played them at their game and honed my skills, there is plenty of info out there to prevent yourself getting too sucked in by the scammers, you just have to be realistic.

If you can't pull a world class model down your local pub why should you be able to get one anywhere else?

Don't punch above your weight and you should stay safe, follow the basic rules and the advice that forum members will give you and you should be ok.

I don't remember the name of the first site I used but I then ended up at the Russian Euro, I think! This had profiles and pictures of normal girls, every shape and size, it was far more realistic but one girl grabbed my attention and I wrote to her. Her name was Tatiana and she was an accountant and knew some English(!), which she didn't or once did but had forgotten. We corresponded for quite a few months, she used a friend who worked for a newspaper company and could translate English and I used computer programmes.

Looking back I have no idea how we understood each other. Any way I wanted to visit Russia and the whole idea of going on the dating site was to make a reason to go there, to make a new friend who would guide me through Moscow and maybe something more could develop, but whatever happened I would not be disappointed because I really wanted to visit Moscow. The more books I read, the more I studied the language the greater my desire grew to actually experience this country.

I never told any of my friends that I was going, I just went in secret James Bond style , I thought I will go and come back (hopefully) and surprise them with my stories of how I went alone into Russia! I know many of them just would not believe me, some of my friend’s think they are well travelled if they leave the 30 limits of the local town!!! They definitely believe Russia is full of KGB and Mafia and Tourists get kidnapped for their organs etc (I have many jokes with them).

All along the relationship with my new Russian pen pal Tatiana was developing and it appeared that there could be some Romance, so we decided that in January 2007 we would meet in Moscow. Tatiana lives near Samara so we would both fly-in and meet at Sheremetyevo 2 airport. Neither of us had done anything like this before and I'm sure plenty of guys on the forum know the situation. It’s not like chatting up a girl in a bar after a few drinks of Dutch courage, its quite unnerving experience, many hours of lonely travelling to arrive in a very strange place to meet what is really a stranger. Even though I am well travelled I still felt somehow like a fish out of water in Russia.

Also it was very brave for Tatiana as she was also out of her comfort zone. We both only knew each other from our best photographs and poor translated letters, it could be like the disappointment that you get from a glossy menu when you get the real food on your plate and it’s not quite the same as the photo!

Well for Tatiana I guess she maybe got the small soggy burger that looked nothing like the Big Mac with super fresh and crispy lettuce in the photo, but I definitely got the full Ferrari that pictures don't do justice too. I was shocked, she was so small and immaculately dressed and presented, I really felt that I was out of my league and that I had not made enough of an effort for her. Everything I said about punching above my weight (!), do as I say and not as I do, come to think of it! I never have asked her since about her first impressions of me, I could only improve!!!

Well I was finally in Russia sharing a taxi in total oar of this amazing place and this incredibly beautiful Russian lady. I thought. I have one chance, will give it my best shot and make the most of the few days together and see what comes of it. I had booked a hotel at Izmailovsky park, I think these are the hotels used when they staged the Olympics in 1980. We had just 4 nights booked, I thought for a first meeting this would be enough in case we didn't hit it off. Well we had 4 excellent days together, despite the language barrier we managed to communicate and have a great time, we both could hardly speak either's native language, if my looks had failed to impress I definitely wasn't going to chat her up either!! Still we got on fine and there was a spark there and we continued to communicate after returning home.

Of course all my friends were impressed with my holiday photos and wanted to be with me on my next trip! We quickly planned to meet again in Moscow and then everything just snow balled and started to travel to Russia as often as I could. In April of 2008 we got married in Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region. I had an offer of work near Moscow and we where planning to live there for a few years, but a small problem with my visa's and I was black listed - no visa for 5 years!!

Ahhhhhhh not going to see my wife in Russia, bloody great start to a new married life, but where there's a will there is a way, nothings easy in Russia. Russians just accept problems daily and get on with life and I guess I am the same, eventually I found a way back in with a private invitation visa and no bribes!! In the 3 years I have been going there I could write a small book, I have been married, banned from Russia, the KGB looking and enquiring after me, spent 7 days in a Russian hospital and experienced all sorts of wonderful things there, every time is an adventure. I have some fantastic friends in Russia, I love going there but I also love coming back, it’s a bit like when my 3 small nieces coming to my house. I look forward to them coming, I love them being at my home but at the end of the day I’m glad they have gone back to their house.

I couldn't live in Russia and the black listing was a blessing in disguise (hope my wife doesn’t read this). Currently my wife lives and works in Russia, she wants to live here in the UK but first her son must finish his school, so she comes to the UK for extended holidays and I visit her in Russia. It’s a difficult relationship but since I have spent most of my life travelling and away from home it’s one I can tolerate. My friends think I am so lucky, I really do have the best of both worlds, married and single when I want to be , a house in UK and a flat in Russia, it has allot of advantages.

I never expected to be married to a Russian woman. I never really expected I would get to Russia, who knows what can happen next? I am learning the language and hope that within the next year or two I can be reasonably fluent, my wife though is learning English much faster, but that is to be expected as they have much more familiarity with English than we do with Russian and she proves you can have Beauty and Brains (something very rare in UK but common in Russia).

Nothings easy about Russia, anybody interested in following this route then be prepared for allot of issues and to spend a bloody fortune. It’s not an easy option, but I have no regrets because it has worked for me!


Volga River near Samara


[drinks.gif]

Author:  Rasboinik [ 13 Dec 2009 14:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Great Story.
It does prove that there is a way to find what you are looking for.

As for punching above your weight, Hey, Hey, in Russia it is impossible to not punch above your weight.

When I was working in Sakhalin (I started in the Summer), I at first thought "What the Hell, Where did all these beautiful women come from"

Author:  wiz [ 13 Dec 2009 21:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Wow! [surprised.gif]

What a wonderfull, very interesting and well written story [bravo.gif]

Excellent observations and of course Julian (Dark horse) your Tatianna is a real Beauty.... much better than a ferrari! [thumbs.gif]

I bet when you first saw Tatiana's profile that your jaw
[jawdrop.gif]

Any how I understand you must have a lot of stories in your PC written from your Russian travels so please continue posting them.

And before I forget [thanks.gif] for letting us read your story and congratulations.

[drinks.gif] [hi.gif]

Author:  Hanna [ 13 Dec 2009 22:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Finally we can see a real and beautiful couple!

Julian thank you for sharing with us your love story.

Such a wonderful story and very interesting to read. Although you and your wife went through all those troubles with OVIR, you still like the country Russia and I am glad to see you are learning the language. [bravo.gif]

I hope we can continue reading your posts because your writing style is very interesting to read and I enjoyed very much. [clap2.gif]

I wish you both all the best!!
Hanna

Author:  Luckyspin [ 14 Dec 2009 05:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Great story

Very nice reading, and beautifull photos.

Congratulations to you and Tatianna.

Regards
Luckyspin

[clap2.gif]

Author:  Chris [ 14 Dec 2009 14:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Julian

I wondered what happened to you, last time we spoke we were going to meet up then you dropped off the edge of the Earth :D now I know why, too busy writing and travelling and spending time with your lovely wife [happy.gif]

Oh well, good to hear about your story, keep in touch.

Chris

Author:  Julian [ 14 Dec 2009 21:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Yes sorry Chris, things didn't go to plan, but i hope that next time we go to Blackpool we can meet. Things really have been hectic, we did come with some friends for one day to visit the Pleasure Beach, it was August and it felt more like January, the rain was horizontal (nearly blown off the edge of the earth !! :lol: )and my wife and son where not exactly getting a good impression of a seaside resort and even i couldn't wait to get home and dry. Been one of the worst Summers up North i think for quite a while and in the Lake District it hasn't stopped raining since !!! . :(

Author:  Chris [ 15 Dec 2009 20:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Julian wrote:
Yes sorry Chris, things didn't go to plan, but i hope that next time we go to Blackpool we can meet. Things really have been hectic, we did come with some friends for one day to visit the Pleasure Beach, it was August and it felt more like January, the rain was horizontal (nearly blown off the edge of the earth !! :lol: )and my wife and son where not exactly getting a good impression of a seaside resort and even i couldn't wait to get home and dry. Been one of the worst Summers up North i think for quite a while and in the Lake District it hasn't stopped raining since !!! . :(



Yes I remember that day, it was our summer wasn't it [surprised.gif] we certainly know how to welcome visitors here, wind, rain, rain, wind, snow, hail, wind, rain and then just for good luck, some more wind [wink.gif] but we did have 20 minutes of sun one day in May I seem to recall [biggrin.gif]

Author:  Keith [ 17 Dec 2009 04:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Julian

Excellent story, great reading and your wife is very beautiful!

Hope to read more from you.

[bravo.gif]

Author:  Hanna [ 19 Aug 2010 12:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Julian's journeys, disasters with a happy end!

Hello Julian

I was reading the board today and see you are/were in Russia.

I like your comments about Russia life and hope to read more of your views.

Sorry to hear the bad news and hope you are better now.

Best wishes
Hanna

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